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Preview: Blackhawks at Stars

Chicago seeking fifth consecutive win in first of home-and-home weekend set vs. Dallas

by Sean Shapiro / NHL.com Correspondent

BLACKHAWKS (7-3-1) at STARS (4-4-2)

8 p.m. ET; WGN, FS-SW, NHL.TV

 

Blackhawks team scope

The Chicago Blackhawks have won four straight games and goaltender Corey Crawford has shutouts in two of his past three starts. He's coming off a 36-save effort in a 4-0 victory against the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday and is expected to start Saturday. "He's been really great, absolutely fantastic goaltender," defenseman Gustav Forsling said of Crawford. "He's a really good talker out there, and he helps out and makes you more comfortable to know you have him back there." Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane have been playing on the same line again, and the duo is trying to find their old chemistry. "It's been a while since we've really played together," Kane said. "We had success back then. I think if we get back to the way we played back then, controlling the puck … I think once we get back to that, things will open up." Center Artem Anisimov shares the NHL with seven goals and is tops with 14 points.The teams play in Chicago on Sunday. 

 

Stars team scope

Dallas Stars defensemen combined for four goals in a 6-2 win against the St. Louis Blues on Thursday. John Klingberg scored twice, and Jordie Benn and Stephen Johns each had one. "I think it's a big part of our [defense] corps, them being part of the offense," center Jason Spezza said. "You look at our personnel, they're more puck-moving guys so we have to get them involved. It definitely gives us a well-rounded attack when those guys are jumping in the rush." Johns is a former Chicago prospect who was traded to Dallas on July 12, 2015. He had dinner with Chicago's Ryan Hartman and Vinnie Hinistroza on Friday, but said "they won't be friends tonight." Top-line center Tyler Seguin has 12 points in 10 games, including a four-assist night against St. Louis. Antti Niemi made 28 saves against St. Louis and will start for the third straight game.

 

Blackhawks projected lineup

Richard Panik -- Jonathan Toews -- Patrick Kane

Artemi Panarin -- Artem Anisimov -- Marian Hossa

Ryan Hartman -- Marcus Kruger -- Tyler Motte

Dennis Rasmussen -- Nick Schmaltz -- Jordin Tootoo

Michal Kempny -- Brent Seabrook

Duncan Keith -- Brian Campbell

Gustav Forsling -- Niklas Hjalmarsson

Corey Crawford

Scott Darling

Scratched: Michal Rozsival, Vinnie Hinostroza

Injured: Andrew Desjardins (foot), Trevor van Riemsdyk (upper body)

 

Stars projected lineup

Jamie Benn -- Tyler Seguin -- Patrick Eaves

Antoine Roussel -- Radek Faksa -- Jason Spezza

Lauri Korpikoski -- Devin Shore -- Brett Ritchie

Curtis McKenzie -- Gemel Smith -- Adam Cracknell

Johnny Oduya -- Stephen Johns

Esa Lindell -- John Klingberg

Dan Hamhuis -- Jordie Benn

Antti Niemi

Kari Lehtonen

Scratched: Jamie Oleksiak, Patrik Nemeth

Injured: Patrick Sharp (concussion), Mattias Janmark (knee), Cody Eakin (knee), Ales Hemsky (hip), Jiri Hudler (illness)

 

Status report

Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said Desjardins may be ready to return Sunday. He was activated from injured reserve on Saturday. … Hudler hasn't played since Nov. 1 and will miss another game due to illness; coach Lindy Ruff said he's still battling a virus.

 

Who's hot

Anisimov has 14 point (seven goals, seven assists) during a nine-game point streak. … Seguin and Jamie Benn combined for seven assists against St. Louis.

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